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legerdemain excited wonder among the simple Persians.
As would have been the case in medieval Europe, his
skill offended religious feeling, and the Shah, who was
displeased with him on another account,1 ordered him to
leave Persia. Some years after, in the sixties, he re-
appeared at Teheran and founded a Masonic Lodge. The
Faramush Khana, or " House of Forgetfulness,"2 as it is
termed, attracted the Persians strongly by its combination
of novelty and mystery ; and many members of the best
families became initiated.
Nasir-u-Din at first looked on this new departure as a
passing fashion, but Ferrukh Khan, the successful negoti-
ator of the Treaty of Paris, frightened His Majesty by
saying that, if he allowed his subjects to become initiated,
they might conspire against him. Moved by this argu-
ment, the Shah imprisoned the Master of the Lodge, a
prince of the blood, and other initiates ; and Malkom
Khan was again ordered to leave Persia. Nothing daunted,
he secured the support of Mirza Husayn Khan, at that
time Persian Ambassador at Constantinople, and through
his influence was appointed Minister in London in 1872.
While holding this appointment he was given the title of
When Nasir-u-Din visited England in 1889 he
granted Malkom Khan, in return for a comparatively
small gift, a concession for a Persian lottery. The
Minister sold it for a large sum, and an English company
was formed to work it. The Mullas, however, objected
that these lotteries were a form of gambling, which is for-
bidden by the Koran. The Amin-u-Sultan took their part
and tried to induce Malkom Khan to surrender the con-
cession. The latter, however, pointed out that he had
sold it and therefore could not do what was asked. The
Amin-u-Sultan then sent an abusive telegram to Malkom
1  An eye-witness tells me that one day Malkom Khan produced an order for a salary
of one thousand tomans and said to the Shah, u Why is not my salary paid ?"   The
Shah denied that he had issued an. order in Malkom Khan's favour, and declared that,
although the official document was correct, he would only accept a document sealed with
the royal private seal dipped in the special ink of the Shah.   Malkom Khan immedi-
ately produced out of his pocket an order fulfilling all these requirements, whereupon
the Shah sagely remarked that such a man was far too clever to be kept in Persia.
2  The Persian, if asked about the secrets of masonry, replies that he has forgotten.